Easy go, easy come - why we made leaving Cuckoo simple header

Easy go, easy come - why we made leaving Cuckoo simple

Tommy Toner

Tommy Toner | Chief Experience Officer

At Cuckoo, we believe people should have the freedom to choose their broadband provider, without feeling trapped or locked into something that’s not working for them. That’s why we’ve made it super easy for our customers to leave if they need to.

Because just like a toddler’s eating habits, circumstances can suddenly and inexplicably change. And if this means a customer needs to switch, we don't want them to feel like they're simply stuck with us.

Nor do we want to make them jump through hoops, spin round ten times without falling over, or promise to name their newborn Cuckoo , just so they can get another provider.

We’re more than aware that this bucks the trend. Historically, customer onboarding flows have received the industry’s love and attention. But that’s come at a cost, which has resulted in – speaking plainly – truly dreadful leaving experiences for broadband customers. Glitches, delays, fines… you name it, people have complained about it.

Which got us thinking: what if we did this differently? What if we made leaving, sort of… well, great?

Example of the Cuckoo online cancellation journey

Easy does it

Heading abroad? Moving home? Or simply bored with award-winning customer service? Whatever the reason, we’ve made leaving really, really easy. Any time you like. No exit fees to speak of.

Simply log in to your Cuckoo account. Hit “Start Cancellation” and select the month you want to leave us.

We’ll ask you to tell us why you’re leaving (so we can keep improving things for the future) and where to send the router return bag (so we can recycle it. but that’s it). TA-DA! You’ve left Cuckoo! And no nasty charge to leave us, no matter how long you’ve been a customer.

All via a fully-automated system on our very own bespoke platform. And, whenever possible, there’s no human touchpoint needed, so our Broadband Eggsperts are freed up to work on other service needs.

Positive friction only

This means actively avoiding the UX tricks we’ve seen others employ in the past (no chasing buttons around the screen with your cursor here, thank you very much). Instead, UX Design focuses on straightforward choices, clear communication and accessibility.

By creating positive friction we ensure our customers understand any parts of the process that might impact them, such as returning their router. Numerous memory recall prompts throughout the flow help decrease cognitive load and improve inclusivity for neurodivergent customers. Finally, we introduce future opportunities for retention that firmly puts the onus on us, and not the customer.

Making us better

Because here’s the thing: we firmly believe that making it easy to leave actually helps us improve our service. When customers know they can leave at any time, they're more likely to provide honest feedback about what they like and don't like about our service. And this feedback helps us identify areas we can improve and make changes that benefit all of our customers.

By allowing customers to leave at any time, it forces us to be better in other areas of the business. We simply can’t afford to not deliver a fantastic service. It keeps us on our toes to always strive for better and to find and fix our blind spots.

And if this customer’s review is anything to go by, it seems to be working.

These guys are cuckoo in a very good way! I have been with Cuckoo for over a year and I am very gutted to leave them as the new property I'm moving into has a lengthy contract with a different provider. I have to say that Cuckoo make leaving them so easy and problem-free so that you don't wish to leave them anymore. They make it very bittersweet. :) And now I am on a mission to preach Cuckoo to my new landlord (and everyone I meet) and get back into the flock asap. Thank you guys for being cuckoo! :)

- BeanGauze (Trustpilot)

No, BeanGauze, thank YOU for being part of the flock.

Cuckoo cancellation journey choose date step

A customer that leaves is still a customer

We treat a customer who’s left as a customer taking a pause. Or better yet, they’re still a customer – just a dormant one. Hibernating, if you will.

Because if they have a positive experience as they leave (like, loving how easy it is to cancel) it actually improves brand perception and increases their chance of being a return customer.

There’s a theory called peak-end rule a psychological heuristic which asserts that people largely judge an experience based on how they felt at two specific moments – at the peak or most intense point and at its end.

Peak end rule

The broadband industry is obsessed with retention rates. And, at face value, that’s no bad thing. Managing churn is very important. But it’s not just about limiting the number of cancellations. For us, it’s about the product lifecycle objective.

Every product will experience churn at some point. It’s unavoidable. But if the product’s leave journey is a nightmare and creates negative friction (like charging extortionate exit fees) then it’s highly likely the customer won’t ever return. Worse, if they throw some shade in a review, there’s a good chance that future prospects will be influenced by this too and choose an alternative.

But creating a positive influence on the leaving process is a strategic choice, focused on the product’s longer-term lifecycle. And it’s one we’ve embraced whole-heartedly.

We’ve invested a huge amount of time and love into making our leave journey as smooth and simple as possible. In most cases, at the very literal click of a button. And even though its main purpose isn’t to make people change their minds, it can also have this effect. Over to you, Jonathan P…

I found a better deal (lower price) elsewhere so started the process of cancellation online. Everything was so clear and effortless compared to other providers. You weren't fighting me constantly, you just made it easy to cancel. This is the level of customer service other providers should strive for..

... and that made me stay.

- Jonathan P (Trustpilot)

Cuckoo cancellation journey final step

Final thoughts (then we’ll leave you in peace)

For too long, customers have faced misery and frustration when they wanted to leave their broadband provider, resulting in negative experiences and a whole load of ill will.

But not only is there no need for this, it’s actually counter intuitive. The smart move is to make the leaving process as good as every other part of the customer experience. This creates a more honest and useful relationship with the customer, and makes them far more likely to return in the future.

So if you're a Cuckoo customer and need to leave, then be under no illusions: we’re very, very sorry to see you go. But rest assured, it’ll be the speediest, easiest and friendliest break-up you’ve ever had. And if at some point in the future you want to return, we’ll be ready and waiting.

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